How did you spend your 4th of July? Did you have fun? We had a great day. We did a nice hike on the aptly named, 4th of July Trail head, in Indian Peaks Wilderness which is about 20 minutes from Nederland. The trail head is down a long dirt road, about 4 miles in, but it is worth the slow bumpy ride. Though it's bumpy, you drive through a beautiful dense forest of aspen trees, quietly swaying in the wind. So it is a nice drive and gets you immediately gets you in the mood for a hike and some peace and quiet. If you want peace and quiet, get to trail head early- the trail head can be very busy. While the trail is about an hour and a half from where we live in Littleton, we got to the trail before 8:00 am and it was not too crowded.
We took the Arapahoe pass trail to Dorothy Lake (from the 4th of July trail head) which was the same trail we hiked a year ago when Chris proposed to me! It was an amazing day a year ago when we got engaged on top of a mountain. It was so beautiful and heart felt and we were so happy. So we wanted to do the same hike and take a picture at the top right where he proposed a year earlier. And it is a great hike - a nice 7 mile round trip perfect for 4th of July morning.
The beginning of the trail takes you through woods, dark and damp. It feels cool in the woods which is nice. But you're not in the shade for too long. After some elevation climbing you are rewarded with views of the mountains and a waterfall. And you find yourself in the most beautiful wild flower field with blue columbines (the state flower), these gorgeous red flowers, and little dots of yellow all throughout the field. It must be a flower-lover's dream. For your average nature lover like me, it's just plain beautiful. It feels very serene up there especially early when it's not crowded yet. You also get to cross a few small streams which on your way up which is fun and the dog loves them.
|Jake being a good boy posing for his picture|
Eventually you climb up over tree line and walk through a talus field for about 3/4's of a mile or so. From here you get to see the mountains and valley below you on the right side of the trail. We saw some people hiking up the mountain on the right side, high above us. We're going to try that trail sometime soon. You reach the "top" (what we decided was our top) at Dorothy Lake. Jake loves water ( I think he must be part lab or something!) so we let him swim around for a bit.
|Me and Jake at Dorothy Lake|
|Me and my favorite guy|
Then Jake decided to spray all his cold mountain water off on me...
|Jake spraying freezing water on me|
Then we hiked over to the same spot where Chris proposed just a year earlier. The spot overlooks the valley below and mountains around it. It is quite beautiful. We took a picture of our hands together with our wedding rings. Just like we took a picture a year earlier of my hand with my new engagement ring on it. So it was a special day for us and a beautiful hike.
A year before...
|My ring.. I was so excited|
|Newly Engaged- we were so happy!|
Happy Times :)
On our way back down the trail around 10:00- 10:30 am it had started to get crowded. By 12:00 when we got to the bottom the trail was packed. So again, get there early! Parking on the dirt road is crazy. Don't drive the whole way in when you see cars, just park. Because if you drive the whole way in you just have to turn around and drive a half mile back to park- no fun.
We had a barbeque to head to in Boulder but got to stop in Nederland first. Ned is one of my favorite little towns in Colorado because it is so unique; the people are eccentric and the little restaurants are great. It's just a cool little town filled with a mix of hippies, motorcycle dudes, and mountaineers. It's great! We got to eat lunch at my favorite little coffee shop, Blue Moon Bakery. Nothing like egg and bagel sandwhiches, coffee, and vegan peanut butter chocolate thumb print cookies after a hike! Then it was off to Boulder for the bbq. It was a great 4th of July!
I love Colorado. Until next time, get out there and enjoy! I will.